Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Biggest Loser: Now causing emotional break-throughs near you

Many of you who know me also know that I love the TV show, The Biggest Loser. Well, except for last season, which was a disaster. I've watched since the very first season and I am a huge sucker for all the inspirational moments, both real and manufactured by clever producers. I'm not really a fan of how it gives people at home unrealistic expectations for their own weight loss, but I do love the overall premise behind the show. I actually auditioned for the show this past summer, about 3 weeks after I started losing weight. It was a great experience and I met some awesome people that I still keep in contact with. However, it was a sobering experience as well. There were 3 flights of stairs we had to climb and quite a few people had extreme difficulty making it up those stairs. At that time, when I went up the stairs I was a little winded and joked about the work-out, but for me it was never a question of actually making it up the stairs. But for some of those people, it was a major ordeal. It made me see where I was headed if I went back to my old ways.

Anyway, The Biggest Loser had its season premiere this past Sunday. Of course, I was excited about it, but when the show came on, and when I later read comments on the BL Facebook page, I had way more emotions than just excitement. Some of them were kind of confusing. Hence, this blog entry. First off, I was thrilled when they talked about auditions for next season. Not because I will be auditioning, but because I do not qualify to be on the show anymore! You need to have at least 85 lbs to lose, and that is not me. So that was awesome. It also felt great to be watching the show after having lost so much weight myself. You have to understand, every other season of this show, I would empathize with the contestants and their struggles at the beginning and I would vow to lose weight with them. And every season, somehow I would end up watching the show with a bowl of ice cream or chips in my lap. Ironic, I know. I would see these people at the end looking so great and happy, and I would want so badly for that to be me. But somehow, I just never wanted it badly enough. Sometimes I get mad at the person I used to be. I think "Just get off the couch!" It seems simple, and ultimately the solution to weight gain is just that simple. But getting to that point emotionally is not simple. I try to remember that when I judge my past self. I truly believe that when you are morbidly obese (by the way, I really hate that term), in order to lose weight you have to reach a point where being that heavy is more painful physically and emotionally than the pain and sacrifice it takes to lose weight and keep it off. Watching the show before, I was not at that point yet. But this season is a completely different ball game and I'm so happy about that.

So yeah, I watched the show and it was great, especially with Jillian back. Sometimes I feel slightly like a masochist when I say that I would really love to have her as a trainer to scream at me and push me so hard that I puke or pass out, or maybe do both at once and risk aspiration. I have managed to work out so hard on my own that I did puke one time. It felt strangely like a victory lol. After the show, I got on Facebook and saw all the comments about the show on their page. Many of them were what I expected about loving the show and the contestants, blah, blah, blah. But what captured my attention were all the people writing about how they've tried out for the show for 7 seasons and how they'll keep trying out. Or how they were waiting on the show to pick them to lose weight. Or how they've gained 40 lbs since last summer's auditions. Or how they just can't lose weight without this show. It made me sad. I mean, duh, no surprise. Those messages were full of desperation and sadness. Obviously, it made me sad. But what I didn't expect was the anger. I was mad at these people for waiting for this TV show to change their lives instead of changing their own lives. And then I promptly felt like a terrible person. I mean, I was  these people 6 months ago! Where is the empathy? But the truth is, I do empathize with them. When you have 100, 200, 300 lbs to lose, it can feel like an impossible task. It's hard to even know where to begin. Rather than trying to tackle it, it is so much easier to rely on a TV show to save you. It's so much easier to keep auditioning season after season, and keep saying that next season will be the one where you will be rescued by The Biggest Loser. I think the anger I felt was probably actually anger I felt at myself for waiting so long to rescue myself. Anger that I waited so long to live this way. Anger that I wasted so much time being unhappy and unhealthy when it didn't have to be that way. The truth is that I just want those people on the Facebook page to know that they can do this without The Biggest Loser. So I posted about what I have done the past 6 months, and how much weight I have lost. It felt kind of like bragging, which I didn't like, but I posted anyway because I felt like it was important. Even if only one person saw my message, saw that I had been where they were and changed my life so drastically on my own, and then decided to try to make a change themselves.

So this entry ended up being a weird psychological analysis about my Biggest Loser feelings. Riveting stuff, I know. But the show caused so many different emotions that I had to kind of write them out. Thanks for listening to me trying to apparently be my own psychologist. Hey, my rates are cheap! Tune in next week for something more entertaining.

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